Megan Ansdell

Welcome! I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Integrative Planetary Sciences (CIPS) at UC Berkeley. I study the evolution of protoplanetary disks and the formation of exoplanet systems using a variety of observatories, including the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the Kepler spacecraft.

I recently participated in the 2018 NASA Frontier Development Lab, which pairs machine learning experts with science researchers to tackle challenges in the space sciences. My team focused on classifying exoplanet transits detected by Kepler and TESS using deep convolutional neural networks. Below is a short video made by Google Cloud that tells the story.

I completed my PhD at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in July 2017. My thesis with Jonathan Williams, which won the 2017 IAU PhD Prize for Planetary Science, focused on conducting large-scale surveys of protoplanetary disks at (sub-)mm wavelengths using ALMA. I also often work with Eric Gaidos on young "dipper" stars using Kepler/K2 data.

Previously, I obtained a Masters in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University, where I focused on international cooperation in space science and exploration.

Other Media / Press:

  • Research Highlight in Nature Astronomy (Jan. 2019) for my paper on potential star-grazing exocomets
  • AAS Nova article (Dec. 2018) for my paper on using deep learning for exoplanet transit science
  • Reddit AMA (Oct. 2018) for NASA FDL + Google Cloud on using deep learning for exoplanet transit science
  • article (June 2018) that interviewed me for my research on language protocols for human spaceflight missions